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1970s USA

Here we see two best friends in a photobooth having a fabulous time together. Their closeness is undeniable. In the second and third photos, the girl at the back cuddles her friend, who reacts with a spontaneous burst of dimpled joy.

The marker pen scrawlings of graffiti on the background curtain add something to the feeling of time and place of the strip. It suggests that this booth was in an unpatolled public area, somewhere like a railway, subway or bus station. Department store, bowling alley or night club booths never get this shoddy treatment.

Why, oh why, is this photo in my collection here in Australia? Why is it not being treasured by one of the girls or at the very least a member of their family?

Maybe there are some visible clues as to what happened? The strip was folded twice at the end of each photo, to make it easier to slip into a purse or handbag. That tells me that the photo was valued enough on the day it was made, for the owner to want to be sure it arrived home unscathed.

On the back, there are remnants of the sticky residue that is left from those dreadful, photo-destroying, self-stick albums of the 1970s. That suggests that the value of the images extended well beyond the day they were made.

There is a crease across the bottom of the strip. How could that have happened? If the girls had had a falling out, the owner of the strip would most likely have torn it up or thrown it out, not just randomly bent one edge. Could the crease be accidental and have happened when the album was being looked through? Those self-stick albums age in one of two ways. Either the photos are permanently fastened to the pages (oh, the horror!) or they slide out and end up all over the place. Some might fall on the floor or table. Others might be tucked carelessly back inside where they could easily be squashed and buckled.

Or could the strip have fallen on the floor and been used as a bookmark, until such time as it was replaced in the old album or a newer one? In that case it could so easily have been forgotten. Books tend to be given away or sold more often than other household items. I have been given some photobooth photos by a friend who found them while browsing in a charity shop, so that is my preferred theory. It consoles me to think that they were accidentally parted from the owner, not deliberately sold off due to apathy or avarice.

I’m sure you have heard such theories from me before. I hope anyone who reads this post, treasures their family memories and treats them with the love and respect they deserve. No more orphaned photos please!

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My friend Ted, also known as one of the larrikin lads in an earlier post, Two Drunks In A Photobooth, is now looking more composed and formal for the camera. I haven’t asked Ted about this, but was it really fashionable in the early 1970s, to wear a window-pane, checked suit with a floral shirt? My guess is that Ted was a fashion leader in this combo, and just so far ahead of the game no one else has ever caught on to this eclectic mix!

Love the face fuzz, Ted.

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Donna in 1969

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Donna in 1972 or 1973

Ch-ch-ch-changes! This is why I love a series of photobooth photos of the same person. No other type of informal photography gives as much consistent detail of a changing face, but why oh why did this childhood collection end up on public sale?

My love to Donna and her friends. I hope they are all still with us.

To see the complete series of Donna’s growth from child to adult, please click here.

 

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Undated. Possibly 1972 or 1973 “Me and Jay”

Above is the last of the photos of Donna in a photobooth with a friend. This time we have Jay, who could be another of Donna’s boyfriends. To me, they seem more like good pals. If a boyfriend, it is unusual that they are not kissing, given her love of a smooch in a booth.

Below we have the last of Donna’s friends or perhaps relatives. The way the notes on the back of each picture are written, makes it unclear whether this girl is named Sister, or if she calls Donna Sister as a nickname or is in fact her actual sister.

The writing on the back is also the only indication in all of the photos, of our blond beauty’s name. As they all came from the same album, I felt it reasonable to assume the notes were addressed to the owner of the album. The person most frequently featured, who is referred to as me in many of them, being the most obvious candidate as the owner.

DonnaSister1973-Part9

Top image. 1973 – “To one of my best friends. Stay the way you are Sister” Bottom Image. 1973 – “To Donna, A re… fr.. your friend always Sister”

Donna is photographed with many boyfriends and girlfriends over a period of 4 years from 1969 to 1973 in this series of photobooth photos. It has been a long time since I started these posts, so if you’d like to review the previous photos, please click here.

 

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Donna and Lori – 1972

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Lori and Cheryl – 1972

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Lori and Cheryl – 1972

This is the penultimate installment in the Lori and Me series. As we get closer to the end, I am getting more and more confused about how to group the photos. The top four of Donna and Lori were taken on the same day as the first strip shown in Part 7. However, they are from a different booth that produced miniature, stamp sized photos. Each of the above photos is dated 1972, so I decided to group them with other miniatures of Donna’s friends.

I have enlarged the last picture of Lori and Cheryl to help you to see the detail of Cheryls extraordinary eyeshadow. Although it looks white in the pictures, I imagine that being the 1970s, it would have been a very pale green or pale blue. I think it looks very cool.

Donna is photographed with many boyfriends and girlfriends over a period of 4 years from 1969 to 1973 in this series of photobooth photos. It has been a long time since I started these posts, so if you’d like to review the previous photos, please click here.

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In the seventh part of this series, we have Donna on two different days with two friends. Each photo is dated 1972.

For those of you who remember, I named this series after one of the inscriptions on the back of one of the pics. For a long time I had it in my head that Lori was the blonde star of these photos. I decided to name this large group of pictures after her, despite my mistake. So, here at last and in the top three pictures, is the “Lori” of the title. Ted, one of my friends, will be pleased to finally see her!

In the second two photos, unfortunately faded, we have Donna and Mona (who we saw before in Part 4) and “Steve’s finger”, that being the cigar-shaped shadow at the bottom right of the second image. Not sure who Steve is, but he is obviously important enough to have his finger mentioned!

Donna is photographed with many boyfriends and girlfriends over a period of 4 years from 1969 to 1973 in this series of photobooth photos. It has been a long time since I started these posts, so if you’d like to review the previous photos, please click here.

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